Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari gives an interview to Agence France-presse at his hotel during the 25th African Summit on June 14, 2015 in Johannesburg. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to visit Cameroon to cement a regional fighting force against Boko Haram, he told AFP. AFP PHOTO/MUJAHID SAFODIEN.
Ado-Ekiti – The Managing Director Autofit & Energy, Olusegun Atayero, has urged the federal government to go for fuel-based modular refineries in order to tackle recurrent fuel scarcity in the country.
He expressed regret that Nigerians had to go through needless sufferings occasioned by inadequate fuel supply.
Speaking with journalists in Aramoko-Ekiti on Tuesday, Atayero claimed that some private investors, who had offered to assist government in solving fuel crisis, through the establishment of modular refineries are only trying to take advantage of the situation to enrich themselves rather than meeting fuel demand.
To forestall future re-occurrence, Atayero said the government must be proactive by ensuring that it flooded the market with the product as the year was winding up.
The Lagos-based businessman also dismissed report that the Muhammadu Buhari-led government was considering an upward review of pump prices, saying it cannot afford to do that in the face of current hardship.
According to him, it would be disastrous for the present government to fall into same trap as the former administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
“If anything is ongoing to happen it will take sometime. The rumour making the rounds that petrol would go as high as N185 per litre was a blatant lie. I am quite aware that some marketers have begun to hoard the products based on this false information. This government is being careful because it castigated the previous regime that it made upward review of fuel prices every year.
“Let me also enlighten the public about refinery. Because of the problem of inadequate fuel supply government had tried to bring in some private investors in what they referred to as modular refineries.
“But that has not worked because of the design of these modular refineries, which is against the country’s demand. The design is in such a way that 70 percent is for after-products while 30 percent is for fuel.
“But you know the challenge in Nigeria is fuel. So, if there is any businessman who is willing to offer 70 percent fuel. I am sure the government would jump at it.
“Government would also be ready to provide crude oil. I am saying this because I’m involved. The reason people don’t like to bring in modular refineries for fuel is that fuel is just a small component. In one barrel of crude oil, you can have over 100 by-products. Like all these petrochemicals industries, they use the by-products from refineries.
“Some of the clothes we wear are a part of it. So the fuel I giving them is little money compared to other by-products. As it is now, Nigeria would get to a stage where it won’t fuel any longer because we are just washing our fuel.
“India had stopped using her crude oil for fuel. What India is saying now is that her cars would not use fuel because fuel is waste of crude oil. So, Nigeria is losing a lot by using fuel.
“Yes, deregulation is very important and I think the government is working on that. The present man at the helm of affairs is an expert.
“What I would suggest to the Federal Government is that fuel scarcity is fast becoming an annual problem; the government must plan ahead so that when we are approaching August the government should ensure that the market is flooded with the product.”